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This Photographer’s Obsession with Efficiency

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DALE

The blog contains little bits of my life, my passions, and my work. I update it daily so there is always something new to come see.

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When is Obsession with Efficiency a Problem?

When is an Obsession with Efficiency a problem? Today was what I call a “throw-away day.” Throw-away days are when you get very little “real work” done because other tasks take up your entire day. Do you ever have those? You don’t wake up expecting to spend your entire day not getting anything checked off your to-do list. As a matter of fact, I often find myself flabbergasted when I stop and realize what it is that is taking up my entire day. This day, for example, had me installing some Google Home updates: A new door lock, a new hub, a Nest thermostat, and some speakers. You would think that a tech-savvy person such as myself would crank these out before lunchtime. I didn’t take into account the “Zelda steps” involved.

Zelda Steps, Reprised

During my 8 consecutive years of blogging each and every day, I did a post about Zelda Steps. To summarize, “Zelda Steps” is a term I affectionately coined to describe the tedious tasks that involve steps that need to be done in a certain order. However, all the steps aren’t listed from the beginning; you have to discover each of the steps, sort them, and then complete them. Today was filled with those.

Today’s Zelda Steps (two examples)

Here is a perfect example to illustrate a Zelda Step. I installed the new Google-enabled remote deadbolt for my house. It took about 45 minutes to remove the old lock, get the new lock installed, and the new lock activated using the smartphone app. However, when I finished the lock was “jamming,” indicated by three loud clicks and then some hazardous beeps. It turns out that the hole for the deadbolt wasn’t deep enough for this lock so I had to uninstall the deadbolt, drill the hole deeper, and then go through the process again. What should have been a 45-minute job turned into a 90-minute job because I wanted it done right.

Next, I installed the Nest Thermostat. Enter Zelda Steps. After going through 5 or 6 steps of the installation process, I got a message indicating that my home’s wiring wasn’t compatible with Nest Thermostat. Frustrated (and also lost because I had already unhooked all my current thermostat’s wires per the instructions) I called tech support. After 80 minutes on the phone with them, we re-wired and re-worked it so the thermostat could, in fact, be installed in our home. What should have been a 20-minute job turned into a 100-minute job. Bless the sweet customer support at Nest Thermostat; she helped me and even had me laughing. She was so very patient through my frustration.

nest thermostat and speaker installed for maximum obsession with efficiency

Obsession with Efficiency

Why did I spend all day installing Google hubs and speakers and locks and lightbulbs and thermostats? Because I’m Obsession with Efficiency. The smart home concept is so appealing to me because I give so much of my time to working. Of course, I want to spend as much time as I can with my family. I want the things in my life that take away from my family time to be as streamlined as possible. The desire permeates every facet of my life now.

How + Why I Maximize Efficiency

1) I have a perfectly streamlined editing workflow.
2) My daily routines, from what I wear to the order in which I get ready each day are clearly set.
3) I have systems for everything in my life, right down to getting oil changes and car cleanings, so that I can maximize family time.
4) I also want to give the very best service to my clients. As a luxury wedding photographer, it’s my duty to do so. My clients know to expect amazing images in a timely manner. They also know that they can email me 5 years down the road if they forget their gallery password. And because my systems are so good, I can access their galleries anywhere in the world and send them images or links, or passwords.
5) The bottom line is that I hate wasting time. Not with all the money in the world can you buy back a second of time. It’s our most precious resource. I have a clear idea of how I want to spend mine: with my girls.

Are you like me? Or do you think I’m nuts?

Talk to you soon,
Dale

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